Oceana was established in the United States in 2001 by a group of leading foundations – The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

In 1999, these foundations commissioned a study and discovered that less than 0.5 percent of all resources spent by environmental non-profit groups in the United States went to ocean advocacy. No organisation was working exclusively to protect and restore the oceans on a global scale. To fill the gap, our founders created Oceana: an international organisation focused solely on oceans, dedicated to achieving measurable change by conducting specific, science-based campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals.

Oceana in Europe works at both the European Union (EU) and Member State level to improve, enforce and fully implement ocean conservation and fisheries management laws and EU Directives. We focus primarily on the following campaigns:

  • Improve the establishment of TACs (total allowable catches) for commercial species.
  • Eradicate illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
  • Reduce effects of climate change in the oceans.
  • Promote the increased protection of valuable marine habitats, through coherent networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
  • Strengthen protection of threatened and sensitive habitats and species.


Since its creation as an independent foundation under Swiss law in 1961, WWF has been working with local communities, governments, businesses, and other NGOs to protect the world's species and natural places, pushing for a more sustainable world.  

WWF's mission is: To stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. 

With a presence in over 100 countries across the world and offices in more than 80, WWF's efforts have evolved from localised projects in favour of single species and individual habitats to an ambitious strategy and local to global actions to preserve biodiversity and achieve sustainable development across the planet. Today, it focuses on 6 Global Goals - ForestsOceansWildlifeFoodClimate & Energy, and Freshwater – and 3 key drivers of environmental problems – MarketsFinanceGovernance in order to make a difference at a scale and help redefine humanity’s relationship with the planet.